MUSICIANS in general are known for having something of a swagger about them; egos it would seem form an essential part of their art.

Then occasionally you come across a musician like Tom Doughty who is quite happy to let his music - and his talent - speak for itself.

Renowned lap steel guitar player Tom will be heading to Oswaldtwistle Civic Arts Centre next Friday to present a show of covers and self penned songs.

"I write quite a lot which is rooted in the blues," said Tom. "But I also play folk, jazz. On my last album I did my interpretation of Heard it Through the Grapevine and I also did a Dylan song, so I just really go where I want to. Let's face it, good music is good music."

Chatting to Tom is an enjoyable way to spend time; he's warm, funny and he's very self-deprecating.

"If anyone asks about my biography I was born on the River Weaver floating in a coracle sitting on old 78 blues record and I was taken in by the local blacksmith. That's my story and I'm sticking to it."

In truth, Tom's real story is equally remarkable. A keen musician and guitarist he was left paralysed following a road accident in 1974. Although left with little movement in his fingers he re-learned the guitar and has become one of the country's most renowned slide and lap steel players.

"The guitar has been a constant for me for much of my life," he said. "When I was a little boy I had an old jumble sale guitar and it was constant in my life perhaps when other things weren't quite so constant.

"My older brother had the album With the Beatles and I was able to work out the notes I heard on my guitar."

Tom describes his spinal injury as "quite a challenging change in my life" adding: "I wouldn't deny my disability affected my music but I think it affected it in a most positive way.

Tom's career in music took off when he attended a guitar workshop run 'by an American bloke I'd never heard of'.

The tutor was so impressed with Tom he paid for him to attend a guitar seminar he was holding a Columbia University in the States.

"I came away from that experience thinking 'I can play'. Every guitar play has those doubts about whether what they are doing is any good but that gave me the confidence to make a CD as a musical diary which sold very well," he said. "That encouraged me to give up work and become professional musician."

Tom has released four albums - "I don't churn them out like conveyor built, that's true" he chuckled, "but they have all been well received."

His next project is a possible album of duets involving himself and a lute player. He is also a regular member of the National Para Orchestra.

"I just like interesting challenges in my music," he said.

Tom Doughty, Oswaldtwistle Civic Arts Centre, Friday, July 6. Details from 01254 398319 or